Facebook scores points in Europe after disabling facial recognition

The move to disable facial recognition tagging in Europe has scored the social network some much-needed points in an official audit.

Facebook has finally satisfied the European Union by disabling facial recognition tagging.

Facebook, which was subjected to an audit by Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), was under pressure to implement a variety of changes in Europe, mostly dealing with privacy and security issues. Last December, Facebook had promised to make the changes outlined in the audit document in order to comply with European regulations.

One stumbling block was facial recognition tagging, which prompts your Facebook friends to "tag" or identify you in photos in which you appear.

Facebook has now turned off the feature for European users. The company will also delete templates for existing users by October 15. Further, it has promised to work with the DPC to create a process for getting user consent should it try to bring back the tagging feature.

A scan of the audit document reveals that the DPC has received a "satisfactory response" from Facebook on virtually all of the pressing issues. However, a few features are due for further review apparently before the social network can officially pass the audit.

A Facebook spokesman sent CNET the following statement:

As our regulator in Europe, the Irish Office of the Data Protection Commissioner is constantly working with us to ensure that we keep improving on the high standards of control that we have built into our existing tools. This audit is part of an ongoing process of oversight, and we are pleased that, as the Data Protection Commissioner said, the latest announcement is confirmation that we are not only compliant with European data protection law but we have gone beyond some of their initial recommendations and are fully committed to best practice in data protection compliance.
(Via TechCrunch)
About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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